Well, I never thought I’d say this having had first hand experience – but earthquakes are scary.
This afternoon around 1.30pm I was sitting quietly at my desk, contemplating how much longer I could put off asking a colleague what on earth his customer was talking about when I noticed a strange, rhythmic creaking noise in the office. I looked around and no one else seemed particularly bothered, so I thought nothing of it and went back to studying my fingernails. Then I thought I felt a bit busy as the room seemed to be moving a bit. And that’s when everyone else looked up and started to look a bit pensive.
No one actually got out of their chair except the boss, who went to look out the window. There was a strange sense of calmness amongst everyone. I had not twigged what was going on yet, but the boss said “yep, it’s an earthquake”. I thought he was joking initially, but then the building started to sway and it felt like being on a rowing boat in a storm. I stood up and staggered back a wee bit, and we all gathered up our bags and congregated in the hall outside.
What do you do when you are on the 24th floor of a swaying building in an earthquake? I would not immediately have said get in the elevator myself, but that is what we did. I have to say that is when I started to panic slightly. There were about 15 people squeezed in and it shuddered and shook all the way down as the building swayed. The building management had not yet sounded the alarm for evacuation, but as our boss had noticed what was happening, we were a step ahead of the crowds. I wondered where we would go as there are nothing but giant tower blocks all around. There is no safe haven in downtown Bangkok, it seems. So we trekked outside and along the road a bit to stand outside a different very tall building and discussed what to do – at which point all the fire alarms in the surrounding buildings went off and people started pouring out onto the street.
It was pretty scary I must admit. Even though it seemed clear that we were not in any immediate great danger, we didn’t know what was happening, where the earthquake was (China, if you have not seen the news) or if there were more tremors to come. It was not an experience I’d like to repeat in a hurry, but somehow I feel almost priveleged to have gone through it, not sure why. It’s so strange being here near the action, instead of watching on the news at home and feeling disconnected from it. Here I literally felt the effect of it. Makes you think.
The only option for me to get home was to get the Sky Train and then the subway – I wasn’t even sure that the subway would even be open, but I got there and it was, altho very quiet. No wonder – my choice was to walk home (no idea where I was going) or risk the subway. I quietened down my inner panicked voice by telling myself it wouldn’t be open if it wasn’t safe. So I got on and it was fine and I was relieved to get out the other end and the street was not just burning rubble.
Anyway, aside from that, work has been dull. Lee’s mum was taken ill on Friday and admitted to hospital which was very worrying for all concerned. She is out today hopefully, so fingers crossed she is on the mend. I felt very helpless being here and waiting for updates and not being able to help even just by being around.
Yesterday I ventured out to meet Liz and go and explore Little India, which is a little enclave of China Town area. It was a very fun day despite the extreme humidity – it was very sweaty and it rained a bit which only made it worse. But we had some amazing food:
Who knew there was a god of motorcycle helmets! I would love to have worn this deer wedding headdress at my wedding, just to see what people would have said … oh dear, hello dear, etc. The food was fantastic, the wee cakey thing was great but SO sweet. I saved a bit of it for later and it’s still in my bag. It’s probably formed a paste in the heat and welded itself to my ipod by now.
After our lunch fit for the king himself, we moseyed down the lane a bit and found a great fabric shop. I bought some for an as-yet-undecided project, mostly just because I liked the colour and they were little more than a pound a go. Then we got lost in the warren of clothes and fabric stands in what turned out to be a wholesale market and had a pleasant time exclaiming over Indian ceremonial wear, amazing fabrics, gaudy jewellery, incense, spices and all sorts. We also spent at least 10 minutes in a posh wedding shop giggling over the names printed on the pretend inviations (kink, ping, pong, etc) like Beavis and Butthead – I think the sugar and heat had gotten to us.
After our stroll round, we headed back to the pier and got the boat back to Sathorn and then on the BTS to Siam where we found that Winnie the stationery goddess was not only back, but had a whole load of new stuff, hurrah! I tried to restrain myself, but got some cool stickers and some teeny cute sewing kits to send to Hamish. After that we had a look around Siam Square, I had some hideous lemon soda which tasted like 1 part engine oil, one part salt, one part water. It made me ridiculously thirsty, I was not pleased. Then the rain started and we headed for Paragon and to the amazing food hall there and wandered around exclaiming over the cheap Kettle Chips, buying sanrio-themed Japanese foods for friends and being appalled by the “monster munch” which are not monster munch at all – bah.
Then back across to the Siam Centre to the proper shoe shop which had an up to 70% off sale on and so I could not stop buying a pair of shoes which promise to be very comfortable once broken in, hurrah! And then back across to Paragon for some dinner at Piri Piri chicken place which was very yum. Sadly after that we were both pretty exhuasted, Liz carrying a passenger and all, so it was time to head home and I didn’t get in til past 9pm and then it was time to open the parcels of joy which had arrived!
Thanks to Lee I am now reacquainted with my swimming costume, you know the one that didn’t cost a million dollars and some other clothes, Mum sent 2 new tops (one of which I am wearing as we type) and Jo sent some breeks which are magical and some shoes which were much needed – I am going through shoes at a rate of knots such is the amount of walking being down! My “new” Rocket Dogs I am sorry to say have worn away to reveal a hole in the sole already! I am most cheesed as I L-O-V-E them – they are stripey and they are so comfy but they do smell rancid now. I will wear them until they walk off by themselves into the sunset tho.
This unexpected half day holiday is great! I am eating an ice lolly and writing this and contemplating what to do for the afternoon. Altho it is now 6pm, so it has kinda crept away from me. I stupidly did not think to pick up my bag with sewing stuff in when the office was evacuated so I am feeling a bit lost, despite there being loads of other things I could be doing. Not sure if the shops and cinemas will be open again yet as everything was evacuated earlier and apparently it would take a few hours before people are allowed back inside. So I will probably just read, finish this and maybe make a few non-sewing related items. Now I am just going to check that there are no other natural disasters looming on the horizon …